Oklahoma vs. Texas - Dallas
Saturday, 9 am PT - FS-1
CRIS Opener: Oklahoma -10.5 O/U 72
CRIS Current: Oklahoma -10 O/U 73
To say that the Longhorns new uptempo offense has paid immediate dividends is something of an understatement. The Longhorns rank among the Top 10 teams in the country in pace ratings, averaging just shy of 85 plays per game.
Sterlin Gibert’s attack is averaging 38 points per game in regulation through their first four contests, behind the strong arm of Shane Buechele and the D’Onta Foreman/Chris Warren running back duo, combining to average nearly 6.5 yards per carry. And these aren’t padded numbers against bottom tier FCS schools or Sun Belt squads either – three of the Longhorns first four opponents were Power 5 conference bowl teams last year (Notre Dame, Cal and Oklahoma State).
Oklahoma is no stranger to playing uptempo football, even though their full season pace rating isn’t quite as high as that of Texas. The Sooners game against uptempo TCU last week produced 98 points, with both teams gaining more than 500 yards of offense. And there’s little reason to expect a dramatically different pace or result this week.
Sooners senior QB Baker Mayfield is coming off his best game of the season, completing 77% of his passes against TCU, throwing for two scores and rushing for two more. RB’s Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine have averaged 6.2 yards per carry. Four different receivers have caught passes of 60 yards or longer. And, like Texas, Oklahoma is battle tested, putting up these impressive offensive stats despite facing Houston, Ohio State and TCU in their first four contests.
Charlie Strong is taking over the Longhorns defense this week. I’m not expecting a dramatic improvement in one week from a defense that hasn’t stopped anybody all year, especially against an offense of this caliber. Oklahoma hasn’t been able to stop anybody either; not a defense loaded with NFL caliber talent. The Buckeyes and Horned Frogs have hung 45 and 46 on them in their last two weeks, and Texas is quite capable of approaching or exceeding that number.
So, to sum up. Both teams play uptempo on offense. Both teams are loaded with playmakers, capable of ‘quick strike’ touchdowns. Neither defense has shown the ability to stop potent attacks. And given the ultra- competitive nature of the Red River Rivalry, neither team is going to take their foot off the gas pedal, even with a lead. Put it all together and the Over is a clear choice for this bettor!